Like all of us, the learners and teachers at the school need water for drinking, washing and cooking. In addition water is needed for the plants growing in the feeding gardens. Importantly, at the moment, water is needed by the builders to make the mortar to construct walls and the cement for the concrete floor.
Malawi is experiencing unprecedented power cuts with some areas having no power for over 24 hours. Escom, the electricity supply company, attributes the power cuts to low water levels on Shire River. Without electricity there is no power to pump water to the school. Soon the heavy rains will come but they sometimes cause further problems as pumps can become clogged with thick mud.
The school is connected to the mains water supply. There is a large water tank that is used to collect water from the roofs of one classroom block in the rainy season. All of the water in this tank has now been used up.
The problem has been described by Frank Banda.
‘Due to the problem with the supply of electricity, the water supply has also become a very big issue to many part of Malawi. Most of the time the water is only on at odd hours. When morning comes there is no water. There is not enough water for domestic uses. Water is used in many ways such as building, irrigation, drinking, cooking and washing. Often there is no water left. In Malawi is very hot right now and a lot of water is needed.’
Gertrude has added:
‘On the radio it is reported that the problem will continue through November, December and into January when it is hoped that the annual rains will come. In some weeks there has been water for only 2 nights.’
Malawians in both cities and rural areas, are used to power cuts and water cuts but this year it is very bad and careful management of water is needed.
Work continues on completing classroom block 4 but the lack of water to mix with mortar for building the brick walls has meant delays.
Until the rainy season mains water has to be used for the food crops and again there is not enough.
Ganet’s Adventure School Fund is funding large water containers that can be filled when the water is on or which can be filled from the bore hole which is some distance away in the village. Water can be carried some distance, from the river. Our Trustee, Jenny, has set up the project, WASH, linking water needs, sanitation and hygiene. On our behalf she is seeking funding for additional toilet blocks and construction of a school borehole, which could also benefit those in the community living nearby.
Gertrude Banda, the Director of the school, is obtaining quotes for the digging of a borehole on the school campus.